Thursday, March 01, 2007

St David's Day and the daffodil

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
It's possible that confusion between two Welsh words has made the daffodil another symbol (other than the leek) of St David’s Day and the Welsh national Day. The Welsh for leek is cenin, and that for daffodil is cenin pedr or 'St Peter's Leek' -- if you have grown either the vegetable or the flower you will know that they are similar in some ways, both growing from bulbs (reminder to Southern Hemisphere readers: it's about time to plant both).

However, the change from leek to daffodil probably has rather more to do with Victorian gentility: can you imagine wearing an odorous leek on your lapel or in your hat today? The person most responsible for popularising the flower over the vegie was British Prime Minister David Lloyd George (1863 - 1945), who, wanting to emphasize his patriotic Welshness around parliament, without looking or smelling odd, chose to wear the daffodil rather than the leek.

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Blogger nora said...

It may also have happened because the daffodil is often called a 'daffy'.
Daffy is a shortened form (or nickname) for Dafydd, St David's Welsh name.

Oh, here's something I just found: "The Saint, however, is Dewi."

But the English do use the nickname "Taffy" or "Daffy" for
Welshmen, from the fondness of the Welsh for the name Dafydd.

11:41 AM  

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